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Cayte – Adopted!

You must complete an adoption application with WBCR before we will consider you for one of our Border Collies (under the “adoption” link). One of our volunteers will check your references, and then another will come to your home to meet you & your family in person before the board will vote on your application. If you are approved, we will arrange a time for you to meet the dog(s) you are interested in. If you decide he/she is perfect for you and the board agrees, we will schedule a day for you to pick up your Border Collie, sign adoption paperwork, and pay the $350 minimum adoption donation. This whole process may take a month or more, as all WBCR members are volunteers and we’re committed to making a perfect match for our border collies. Thanks for your patience!


Please contact Fran/Amy for more information on Cayte – 1 Year Old Female (Rochelle, IL) – Adopted!

April 23

WOW! I took Cayte running with me yesterday for the first time. With some consistency and a little more practice, she will make a fantastic running partner. For the first time out, she was a rock star! She kept pace with me (which I purposefully varied), and she stopped whenever I did. We only did 2 miles total and stopped three times along the way to chat with friends. By the end of the first mile, she was even turning left without bumping into me. She had minor issues where she pulled or darted when something moved across the street in front of us – a bird, a squirrel, a rabbit, even a leaf caught her attention. I stopped dead in my tracks, told her no, and she reset at my side without further discussion. Since spring finally arrived this weekend, there were tons of people out & about, and Cayte viewed every one of them as new friends to be made. When allowed to greet them, she excitedly jumped on them but sat when asked to. Everyone commented on how friendly, cute, and playful she is. We ran along the edge of the baseball field as a game was ending, and she attempted to cross in front of me in order to greet them. All I had to do was say “Ah ah. Stay on the left.” She kept her eyes on the potential friends and kept her tail wagging just in case, but she respected my request and stayed on my left which, of course, yielded tons of happy praise from me. To be fair, we did spend an hour at the dog park to get the crazy out of Cayte before I attempted this, but she proved that this will be a phenomenal way to exercise her mind & body.

The only time Cayte seems able to relax is in her crate. Otherwise she is constantly over-stimulated by the world around her. Since our trainer lets us bring foster dogs to class for free, I spoke to her last week about Cayte’s inability to slow down her brain. We discussed a few options and decided to see what a Thunder Shirt would do for her. The following night, after playing ball for a few hours, I put Cayte in the Thunder Shirt and she was a different dog entirely. She laid on my lap for almost an hour. She let the other dogs play ball instead of stealing it. She let Jinx lick her ears. (He takes it upon himself to make sure all the dogs’ ears and eyes are clean. He’s weird. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WXrxuvfRtTU) It’s nice to have another tool in the toolbox to help Cayte become the best dog she can be.

Two of our dogs have birthdays in April, so we bought cakes from the local pet bakery and put hats on everyone for a few minutes to have a private little birthday party which Cayte attended. Cayte wore the Thunder Shirt to help her remain calm through all the activity. She waited her turn very nicely and even left her hat on longer than most of our dogs did. It was fun, and we got some cute pictures from it. She’s hoping she will have a homecoming party soon with her very own family!

April 2

Cayte visited a local doggy bakery this past weekend, Canine Crunchery. She was very happy to greet every person she encountered, but she was over the moon when a kid came in! Since I don’t have children at home and kids aren’t allowed at the dog park, I haven’t seen her reaction to kids before and was surprised that she was so excited. She almost knocked the kid down (I’m guessing he was around 10) so she needs to work more on gentle greetings, but it was fun to see that side of her.

She also met 2 dogs there: she wanted to play with one (a little dog, probably a Shih Tsu mix), but she made it clear that she wanted the other one (a large GSD mix) to leave her alone. Not sure if she was intimidated by the size of the second dog or if it was just a personality conflict, but she was absolutely appropriate in setting her boundaries, verbalizing and using body language that was easy to recognize.

Another thing to note about her field trip was her reaction to a stuffed animal that was being used for a display. As we turned the corner, Cayte backed up, lowered herself to the ground, and began barking. I couldn’t figure out what she was so scared of so I touched several things on the shelf. When I reached for that stuffed dog, she jumped! After I stopped laughing, I set the dog on the floor close to me and, as her foster brother approached it without fear, Cayte decided it wasn’t going to kill her and cautiously approached After some sniffing, she went on her merry way as though it never happened. Although it was funny and easily remedied, it reminded me that she still has work to do on her confidence.

We’ve worked hard on Cayte’s shadow-chasing the last few months. It will always be a behavior her family will have to redirect, but it is so simple to do. I finally had my camera nearby when she zeroed in on a reflection the other day. Watch this to see just how simple it is to stop: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xZTuRfbNS_g

Cayte loves any kind of toy! Inside the house, she plays catch with a tennis-sized ball (her favorite is the orange & blue Chuck-It ball). At the park, she likes the Frisbee more. She did some amazing catches yesterday with some serious air! I wish I had brought the camera!! In our yard, we have an old basketball the dogs like to play with, and Cayte is no exception. She’s still learning to bring it closer, but as long as she stays engaged, I’ll take a step or 2 to kick it for her: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1_rB1K2k4sU To be honest, it doesn’t even have to be a toy. On snowy days, she catches snowflakes. On windy days, she catches leaves: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LPCjruG9Vv0 She LOVES to be active! As I was typing this, she got the zoomies and ran laps around the living room. 🙂 Yet, at the end of a busy day, she’ll sit on the couch to snuggle or chew on a bone. She’s such a sweet, fun dog. I can’t believe she’s still looking for her family!

March 13

I think Cayte has Spring Fever like us humans do! She has recently started rolling around on the floor, playfully scratching her back and begging for belly rubs. She has also started running into the room, doing a wiggle-butt dance before quickly giving sloppy/crazy kisses, then running back out of the room. I describe her style of affection as a bull in a china shop. She’s not gentle by any stretch of the imagination, but she’s funny and she’s sincere!

I often mention Cayte’s shadow-chasing and reactivity to exciting situations because WBCR believes it’s best to be transparent about the issues our foster dogs are dealing with. Anyone who’s interested in adopting should know what they’re signing up for. However, I don’t want anyone to think those issues define Cayte. Case in point: I was videoing the other day to try capturing how easy it is to redirect her when she starts chasing shadows, but she ended up just being a regular dog the whole time. Not once did she pounce on a light. See for yourself: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VayZVNSyxxA
Yes, Cayte needs to be redirected from shadows sometimes, and you have to be one step ahead of her in stimulating situations, but that’s a very! small part of who she is. Cayte is a very playful, silly, toy-obsessed young girl who can entertain herself at times and loves to be loved on.

This past weekend there were 3 other dogs at the dog park when we arrived which is incredibly rare in our small town. They were dogs and responsible owners whom we were familiar with so we brought all our dogs into the entryway and explained Cayte’s idiosyncrasies, mainly her aggressive herding style and propensity to get overwhelmed. Cayte barked and lunged at one of the dogs through the fence, but a vocal correction was all it took to stop the behavior. The other dog owners trusted us to manage the situation so we put Cayte on a leash and gave it a go. Cayte told off one of the dogs who got in her face during their greeting, but a vocal correction worked for that, too. Within minutes everyone was comfortable and we let Cayte play ball & frisbee with the group, dragging her leash in case we needed it. We never needed it. We actually took the leash off about 20 minutes later and never had even an inkling of any kind of problem. She’s a good girl who needs a family of her very own where she can be happy and loved. Maybe you’re the one she’s waiting for!

February 4

I realized recently that most of Cayte’s pictures are of her sitting still, so my husband brought the good camera with us to the dog park yesterday to get some of Cayte playing. Going through the 500 photos he took (I’m not exaggerating), I realized why we only have pictures of her sitting still: She’s FAST so they turn out too blurry even with a quick shutter speed! We did manage to get semi-clear photos of some of her Walter Payton moves and herding stances, and even some group play photos turned out. She is definitely more interested in herding the other dogs than in playing with the toys, but she did engage with the disc briefly at the park and is toy-obsessed when she’s alone.


After we had been there almost an hour, we decided to get a “family photo” of our own dogs, asking our 6 to sit together while letting Cayte continue to run & play. About 3 minutes into our impromptu photo shoot, Cayte saw what we were doing, wandered over, and sat, posing, with everyone else. It was a pretty cute demonstration of pack mentality. 🙂



January 22

The other night, Cayte took one of my slippers across the room before I realized I forgot to put them away. I loudly said, “My slippers!” and jumped up, in a hurry to correct my mistake. Cayte dropped my slipper and cowered as she ran to the corner of the room and laid down in a ball, facing the wall. She may be handler-sensitive and needs help dealing with stimuli. I spent 10 minutes on the floor with her, quietly petting her and reassuring her. She’s not what I’d call a “soft” dog, but we will be more careful with sudden movements and volume. Other times, she’s very sure of herself. She doesn’t even flinch at the nail gun or the motorcycles.

Cayte has been increasingly overwhelmed with the activity our large pack, and she has started channeling her shadow-chasing energy into herding our dogs. At first our dogs didn’t mind, but she’s become overly insistent that they only move when & where she decides, resulting in lots of scary noises. Although she only focuses on one dog at a time, it’s not always the same dog. All dogs involved have great bite inhibition, including Cayte, so, although fur is wet on both parties when there’s a showdown, there haven’t been any injuries – not even scratches. We have started monitoring Cayte much more closely though and calling her off when she starts focusing on one of the dogs.

Cayte attended another Surviving Adolescent class and did very well playing with the young puppies. She remembered the puppy she met last time, taking merely seconds to be comfortable together, and we introduced her to another young puppy who loved to pounce and play. Cayte warmed up to the new puppy quickly, and they tired each other out during playtime. Cayte continues to wrestle and play appropriately with our young dogs at home when she isn’t trying to herd them so it’s not a deal-breaker if you have other dogs and are interested in adopting her. However, Cayte would be an easier dog to live with if she was an only child or living with one other, tolerant, playful dog. She focuses better on appropriate things and is much less frantic when she’s alone or with just one other dog.

December 26

Cayte just finished up meds for whipworms & some other lovely parasites she brought with from the shelter, and she’s starting to relax into our routine enough that she’s making mistakes. The other day, she was so into chewing on a bone that she didn’t realize how badly she had to pee so she had her very first accident. She jumped up from chewing on her bone AS she was peeing; it took her completely by surprise 😀 We rushed her outside and she finished peeing there. We haven’t had any accidents since.

Cayte attended Adolescent & Puppy class last week. We focused on greeting new people without jumping as well as distractions from shadows. When we walked into the building, Cayte immediately noticed the shadows cast by the ceiling fans, but she was able to play ball even with the ceiling fans on, eventually forgetting about them to watch the other dogs in class. At the end of class, she interacted with a 9-week old puppy. Cayte was scared for 5-10 minutes (hackles up and low growls every time the puppy approached) but, given time, she relaxed and eventually played with him. It’s important to note that she was attacked by another dog just 8 days prior so she’s still dealing with some PTSD and is understandably protective of her injuries. At our house, she’s gotten very comfortable playing and wrestling with our dogs. Cayte and our young dogs play hard! Cayte typically does 360 degree spins and has some impressive Walter Payton moves! See for yourself: CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.

She’s wrestling & playing more & more with our young dogs, but she’s also started to challenge our grumpy old girl. When Isabel grumbles at her, Cayte isn’t just deferring to her any more. She’s giving her (what we call) naughty faces – lifting her lip to show teeth. As soon as I tell them, “That’s enough,” Cayte comes to me, tail wagging. Cayte never starts it; she reacts when Isabel vocalizes discontent (which she does with all of our dogs). She’s still very interested in shadows, b! ut she’s easily called away from them & she’s interested in other things, too. I ran on the treadmill for an hour and Cayte kept herself entertained, chewing on toys and playing with the other dogs even with the lights on! She focused on the movement of the belt and my feet every once in a while, but I only had to tell her “leave it.” At one point, she attempted to chew on the corner of our couch cushion, but all I had to do was give her a bone and she chewed on that instead. I’ve had other dogs that insisted the inappropriate chew toy was better than whatever I tried to give them, but not Cayte 🙂 She’s a good girl!

December 12

Cayte was pretty stressed for the first 2 days at our house. She didn’t even pee for the first 15 hours. By Friday (she arrived Wednesday) she was finally going potty regularly. The best news is that she was loose in our house – albeit in limited areas – and never pottied until she went outside. She is definitely potty-trained! She’s also fantastic about going into her crate! All we have to do is ask, and she runs right in & lays down. She also runs to her crate when I get the medicine out for her ear. The shelter sent Cayte with a spray to promote healing for the bite wounds she sustained there, but she is scared to death of it. I mentioned this to the vet when she went for a check-up yesterday, and he prescribed an ointment instead, which she tolerates much better! He said, although the cartilage will take weeks to months to heal, there’s no damage to her inner ear that would affect her hearing. He also confirmed that she’s significantly underweight and it’s a good idea to overfeed her for a little while.

The vet believes Cayte to be less than a year old since there’s not a bit of tartar even on her rear molars. Cayte readily allows us to look at her teeth, her toes, her eyes, and her ears (although she’s justifiably sensitive about her hurt ear). Even when the vet manipulated that ear, all she did was wiggle a bit and lick his face. She’s a big kisser! She gives kisses to anyone who will accept them! She came to my office before heading to the vet, and she met several new people, freely offering kisses and belly rubs. She also played fetch with a few different toys, which she piled up in the conference room. 🙂

Cayte knows a few basic commands like sit, down, leave it, and come. We took a walk Saturday afternoon, and I was very impressed! She was a bit distracted by cars at first, but it only took me saying “leave it” for her to reset in heal position. Otherwise, she walked on a loose leash the whole mile so I will take her running with me sometime soon to see if she enjoys it. We’re currently teaching her “wait” so she doesn’t bolt out the door (crate, house, or car). The real work, though, is coming from redirecting her shadow-chasing. We’ve been documenting her progress and posted short videos on YouTube from her first full day at our house when we couldn’t get her nose off the ground for any length of time (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmAQtmi8B0k), to the next day when she played ball as long as the lights were off (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KKRxzsP9U4c), and later that evening when she stayed engaged playing fetch even with the lights on (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=g6yE4oYPQpo). Cayte’s making great progress in the short time she’s been here, but she will need to be reminded for the rest of her life that there are better things in life than shadows. She seems to do it more in new, stressful situations so we’re working on developing better coping skills, too.

We introduced each of our dogs to Cayte individually over several days then let her hang out with 2 at a time, then 3, slowly working up to being loose in the house with all 5. We were most concerned about how our deaf dog would interact with Cayte because, when the other dogs made her uncomfortable, she laid still and emitted a low growl. Our other dogs react appropriately, backing off and giving her space, but our deaf dog wouldn’t hear the warning so we supervised closely and intervened on Cayte’s behalf. By Sunday afternoon, all the dogs ran and played at our fenced-in, deserted dog park (Cayte dragged a long line, just in case recall was an issue – which it wasn’t). And by Monday evening, Cayte and our little deaf dog were wrestling and chasing each other through our house, making me laugh & giggle, and driving my husband nuts.

Monday afternoon was also Cayte’s first snow. I laughed so hard at her jumping into the air, trying to catch the ! snowflakes! I tried to video it, but it was so dark outside that it didn’t turn out very well. Turn your lights off, squint, & watch it anyway so you can see what a goof this girl is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq8fUBu1pZM

December 7

Cayte is estimated to be 8-12 months old, picked up as a stray in southern Missouri in early November. The shelter coordinator reached out to rescue because Cayte was chasing shadows – a sign of a very bored dog. We volunteered to bring her into foster care, but then Cayte developed kennel cough & couldn’t cross state lines until she was healthy. Then, 2 days before transport was to take place, Cayte was attacked by her roommate at the shelter so she came to us with multiple lacerations on her neck and ear. She’s on antibiotics as a precaution, and she doesn’t seem bothered by the injury. However, she flinches every time one of our dogs barks at her. I don’t know if this reaction is because she was hurt by another dog recently or if she has always been slightly skittish. Four of Cayte’s foster siblings are wild & crazy, young Border Collies who love to wrestle, so we’re taking our time introducing them because we don’t want to overwhelm her nor do we want to further injure her wounds. Cayte did meet her 13-year-old foster sibling today, and the interaction was quite uneventful. They barely acknowledged each other after a quick sniff (which is exactly what we hope for).

Cayte wasn’t fazed in the least by our stairs, comes when she’s called, and LOVES people! When I arrived at the meeting point for transport, she pulled the volunteer across the parking lot to come say hi and threw herself to the ground for belly rubs. She did the same thing to my husband the next morning! It doesn’t last long though. As of now, Cayte is highly distracted by shadows and lights. Her eyes dart constantly as though she’s overstimulated, yet she’s also bored senseless. She’s only been at her foster home for 12 hours so she needs time to adjust to her world shifting before we will be really able to work on more appropriate ways to channel her energy. I was quite encouraged last night though because, after 10 hours of travel with strangers, I got her to lay down on the floor and, as I massaged her legs, she just melted. Her muscles relaxed and her eyelids grew heavy. She’s going to be a fantastic little dog!